Ready for DEparture??!

Pendulums Rehearsal blog... 2 days to go until Derby Theatre and Latitude!

By Seana Maggs-Cooke

I greet Kate at the Green Lane doors ready to encounter my last rehearsal of Pendulums before the finished version is performed at Derby Theatre this Friday (19th July). 


Last time I caught up with The Foo they were carefully rerecording sound for the show in Matts makeshift studio. For this last rehearsal week each day is spent finalising and polishing every ounce of the piece.

I enter the rehearsal room to find Morgan grabbing a caffeine boost and Kate sewing a pillow- one of the props for the show. Beth enters and declares 'we need to preset the stage,' and this is what the group immediately set about doing. Everyone's hands on here- I feel guilty for sitting and observing. Instead of this being a tedious procedure, Morgan treats the group to some musical classics via his phone and the task becomes an almost routine.

Each time I view the set I'm pleasantly surprised by how minimalist yet intricate it appears; it's simple, and yet the ingenuity and purpose of each prop is only one reason an audience won't help but deeply appreciate the aesthetic of Pendulums. Two supermarket cages are the predominate feature of the set and they are used efficiently in every scene (as you will observe yourselves when you come and see the show.) The set is full of surprises and the amount of props the cast need to remember is beyond impressive. 

The Preset session is like watching a sitcom in itself and the cast are in high spirits as always, ready to embark on a full run. I'm excited to watch and delighted to be promoted to my old role of sound technician.

All I can do is sit back and enjoy the show: it's the first time the group have attempted a full run with all 'the new bits' added. I become engrossed immediately and am treated to The Foos enchanting fairy tale; layered with comedy, narration and topped with nightmareish themes, the run through is simply mesmerising to watch and the conventions used to tell the story are as imaginative as The Foo are renowned for. 

I am only able to join Maison Foo for the duration of the morning, but we are also joined by Oz and Andy, the technicians on board for Pendulums. I am spoilt once more and am able the view one more run before I have to leave, and I can't help but feel deeply grateful for being able to view The Foo and pendulums at its best. Matt informs Oz that '60% of the piece is new', this percentage of new additions has only come about since the preview tour, where audience feedback has proved pinnacle to how The Foo have modified and progressed the play.

The second run through proves to be an improvement on the first, and Pendulums can only become more perfected- although I have no doubt that the group will tweak and change as much as they can before the week's up to make their creation the best it can possibly be. Maison Foo seem to be their own strictest and most constructive critics, which is why the standard of this devised piece is so profoundly high!

Now I leave Green Lane and Maison Foo to their last day and a half of rehearsals to return to Derby theatre, where I await to see Pendulums Bargain Emporium on Friday as an audience member...and I can't understate how excited I am!